CMP EIC Leg Match - Eau Claire National Rifle Club
July 8th, Eau Claire National Rifle Club hosted its annual Service Rifle Leg Match. The culmination of Saturday’s NRA 800 aggregate and Sunday’s CMP EIC Leg Match resulted in a weekend that truly pleased any discriminating over the course shooter. Prior to the match, triggers get weighed and 33 shooters would pursue the famous 50 shot NMC EIC course of fire.
The morning presented a reasonably nice and clear day that would be conducive to some top-notch scores with the crew that showed up to shoot. Throughout the day, shooters had to overcome a generally fish-tailing wind at 6-12 mph. It was notable and cumbersome at times, especially in the 200 yard offhand stage of fire. It appeared to have little to no impact on Bryan Melville as he posted a stellar 98-5x, followed by my 98-4x, and Aaron Guliuzza’s 95-2x. Before packing it up and heading back to the 300 yard line, Billy Van Treeck claimed the top rapid fire sitting score with a 100-6x. Bryan Melville and Ross Opsahl also cleaned this stage with a 100-5x and 100-3x respectably.
The wind appeared to settle at the 300 yard line, where 13-year-old Thomas McGowan claimed the best group and score with an impeccable 100-7x. He topped 3 other cleans including Brian Townsend’s 100-6x, Bryan Melville’s 100-5x and my 100-2x.
The recurring theme that most matches won in offhand and lost at 600 slow fire prone are interpreted as most applicable in EIC Leg matches. Shooters most anxious to finish off a great day and or maybe earn some Leg points, would have to make their first sighterless shot for record count and continue throughout the 20 shot 600 slow fire string. With Bryan Melville only dropping 2 points on his way back and others nearby, it would be a “nail biter” to the end. My own 198-9x led the pack, but many others were right behind me. Tom Jones was a point behind with a solid 197-7x, only 3x above Aaron Guliuzza’s 197-4x.
With the mighty fine Eau Claire Crew under James Melville running the matches, and with the help of Dave Holub, the paper target match got completed in superb time. It was about one o’clock when shooters began gathering at the stat shack to see the day’s scores. Match winner, 1st and 2nd places went to all Distinguished shooters. I had the day’s top score with a 495-18x, followed by Bryan Melville’s 490-18x and Aaron Guliuzza’s 487-13x. All exceptional scores, but the real hype was around the two “Legs”. With the top Leg, Spencer McGowan claimed 8 points toward his Service Rifle distinguished badge. Erik Reuth earned the other Leg and claimed 6 points to finish off his chase for the badge. I spoke in-depth to both shooters after the completion of the match and Spencer McGowan was incredibly grateful to claim a hard Leg on only his second year in this sport. Truly, an exceptional score and accomplishment. Erik Reuth was all smiles after declaring he finally finished the journey to becoming a distinguished Service Rifle shooter. Reuth is an airman in the Wisconsin Air Guard and a member of the All guard rifle team. Becoming a distinguished rifleman as a service member is an incredible feat and definitely a highlight of one’s career. Junior Thomas McGowan was a little disappointed as the 1st Leather, especially with a slam fire in offhand that cost him 10 points and ending up with a 480-21x. However, he is very optimistic to go to Camp Perry this year and hold his own as the Wisconsin junior team fights to keep their titles. It’s needless to say that Spencer and his son Thomas are a dangerous duo. Bryan Melville and myself were both very pleased with our new personal best scores.
In conclusion, it was a fantastic match that completed one of the best over the course match weekends in the area. Congrats to those that got points on Sunday and the best of luck to all the shooters still in the race!
After the outstanding writeup from Bob Peasley on Saturday’s NRA 80 shot match, Bob mentioned that he would hope someone who stayed for Sunday would cover the Leg match. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to become involved and add some more over the course content to the blog. I will try my best to give the best content, to my ability, of the matches I shoot in the area that are not covered.